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Plymouth Argyle aiming to bounce back from promotion heartbreak

Derek Adams is looking for promotion. Photo: PA

By Seth Conway

The last ball kicked in anger by Plymouth Argyle came underneath the Wembley arch in May. Defeat in the League Two play off final to AFC Wimbledon was a huge disappointment for the Pilgrims and their 35,000 fans. It was a sentiment shared by the manager Derek Adams who admitted this week that to have got that squad of players so close to promotion was the best of bonuses.

We obviously exceeded expectations last year in a tough division and to get to the play-off final was excellent and we want to go a step further this year and try and get ourselves out of the division.

– Derek Adams
Plymouth lost at Wembley last season. Credit: PA

To try to gain promotion Adams has shaken things up at Home Park; players have gone including one time star striker Reuben Reid while there have been plenty of signings and a new forward line for the Pilgrims with former Cambridge Utd striker Jimmy Spencer and David Goodwillie, moving from Ross County, most likely to start up front against Luton Town on Saturday. Goodwillie is a former Scottish international whose CV includes scoring against then world champions Spain in qualifying for Euro 2012.

Football's football and if you do well here you can anywhere you know, if we do well here we can go up and it could be a great journey to start. I've been living down here full-time and it's been pretty easy I've seen the National Marine Aquarium once and it was really nice.

– David Goodwillie
David Goodwillie will lead the line. Credit: PA

Argyle have more depth in the squad compared to last season when they topped the league for 90 days in total, that's more time than they spent in any other league position before finishing fifth, so promotion is a realistic ambition this season. The club has a ground and level of support worthy of a much higher level than League Two.

We took 35,000 fans to Wembley, we took fans a lot away from home as well, we had 8,000 here in a pre-season match and you know I think that shows you the appreciation they've got in the squad.

– Derek Adams
Plymouth are ambitious. Credit: PA

And the club have huge appreciation for the job their popular Scottish manager has done in his short time at Home Park by rewarding him with a four year contract extension this week.

I think it shows intent and ambition, we've got a young manager who himself is very ambitious very very capable and we're fortunate to have found him and recruited him for Plymouth Argyle.

– Martyn Starnes, chief executive

Could Plymouth Argyle realistically be League Two champions in May? At an amazing 16-1 with a bookmaker today it could be a bet worth placing.